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vinyl masters

We all know that digital media store and convey sound one-to-one. Vinyl records cannot do that, because there are a whole range of technical limitations that cause changes to occur in the recorded and reproduced sound. Strangely enough, it is precisely these technical shortcomings that contribute to the euphony of the black disc. Still, there is only a fine line on which this positive phenomenon can physically exist. To walk this line, we prepare dedicated vinyl masters for record cutting.

The fabulous sound of vinyl records

The sound of the vinyl record is an aesthetic we’ve collectively come to love over the decades. Vinyl delivers a world of sound that is completely different from the sound of music in natura. This is the sound we have come to associate with recorded music. The love of this sound is so great in some cases that certain people perceive digital music, which actually comes closer to the natural sound of music, as something lifeless. Indeed, even after 40 years of digital audio and compact disc, the fabulous and archetypical sound of the vinyl record has yet to be surpassed.

Vinyl masters in 2022

To ensure that your pressed vinyl record sounds as good as you expect, we employ strategies designed specifically for vinyl mastering. The challenges begin with the problem that music today is no longer produced explicitly for the technical medium of the vinyl record. And the knowledge of corresponding recording methods and the mechanical processing procedures is not as common in our industry as it once was.

As a result, there are some types modern music programs that can be transferred to lacquer foil or copper plate only with difficulty and maximum expertise. Ironically, this problem often affects genres that tend to favor vinyl for artistic and aesthetic reasons. A lot of worry is taken away from the cutting engineer if we succeed in bringing appealing sound and technical feasibility into line in our vinyl master.

Euphony \ Vinyl masters

The mechanical processes that are carried out in conjunction with cutting, electro-plating and pressing alter the sound of the recording – and not always in a manner that listeners would find pleasing. Sound colorations, distortions or surface noises do contribute to the charm of vinyl records, but only in small doses. Apart from this, everyone is familiar with records that sound strangely weak and listless compared to their digital counterparts.

Fortunately, we have the technical repertoire needed to address all of the afore-mentioned problems. A second level of our work involves accentuating the acoustic strengths of the media vinyl record by making targeted adjustments to the sound material. In both aspects we consistently employ tried-and-tested strategies. In doing so, we use know-how from the old analogue classical music production as well as powerful new software-supported methods.

We create perfect vinyl masters for the record cutting process

We use our sound engineering methods to prepare a programme that will allow your work to be transferred to lacquer or copper with minimal losses and artefacts. This is important because after mastering, the vinyl cutting process is performed, which is something like the qualitative “eye of the needle” in the entire vinyl production chain. Indeed, this initial mechanical transfer is generally the stage where most of the overall loss of sound fidelity occurs.

We leave the final data for the master in the highest possible resolution, which means our vinyl master has a higher resolution than a CD premaster, for example. We then send this final data set along with the technical documentation to your cutting studio or upload it directly to the pressing plant server.

With this series of measures, we establish ideal conditions for a trouble-free manufacturing process and a high-quality finished product. As a result, your pressed vinyl record will sound exactly the way you want it to – with a clear and characteristically smooth sound, intact dynamics and well-controlled artifacts.

your benefits at a glance

  • Vinyl masters with impressive sound
  • Masters that are optimised for the cutting process
  • Outstanding audio technology
  • Perfect studio acoustics ensure neutral sound
  • Expert knowledge in analogue audio
  • Standard recording industry workflows
  • Communication with cutting studio and pressing plant
  • We check your test pressing
  • We share our expertise in a demanding technical environment

Get a quote

Use this form to get a quote for mastering. Feel free to tell us about the artist, the work and the technical circumstances surrounding the production. Your personal views and ideas are also important to us.

    Master & Servant GmbH

    Schlachthofstrasse 36 B
    D-21079 Hamburg

    Tel 0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44

    0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44